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What Is Fiber & What It Does For Your Diet

Fiber is an important dietary nutrient that helps move food through the body’s digestive system. Fiber plays an important role by protecting the body from complications such as:

Fruits like raspberries are a recognized source of fiber
  • Heart disease
  • Constipation
  • Colon cancer
  • Controlling diabetes
  •  Weight control.



Knowing Which Fiber Helps

To know which fiber helps what issue, it is beneficial to know the difference between soluble and insoluble fibers.

When discussing  diabetes and cholesterol related problems such as heart disease, the best solution are soluble fibers. When you eat food containing soluble fibers, they bind themselves to fatty acids (from your diet) to form a gel substance that travels through the bodies digestive tract and exits during bowel movements. Thus lowering the amount of fat and sugar your body absorbs.

The liver will pull cholesterol from storage to generate the lost fatty acids and takes cholesterol from your bloodstream to yield  its supply. After your liver pulls cholesterol from your bloodstream, the amount of cholesterol in your blood drops.

Photo of lima beans by Flickr user kthread

Soluble fibers also interference  with the absorption of many fats and sugars to help regulate glucose levels. Great sources for soluble fibers are oat bran, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lima and kidney beans.


Insoluble Fiber improves colon health

When concerned about constipation, weight loss, and colon health, insoluble fiber is highly recommended. While passing through the bodies digestive system, the fibers absorb water, enlarging itself inside the intestine. The newly formed fiber proceeds through the intestine, pushing and removing carcinogens and waste products.

This also helps with regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. To increase your insoluble fiber intake spinach, rye bread, natural cocoa powder, and even popcorn.



Summary of Good Fiber Sources

Souluble Fiber Insoluble Fiber
  • Oat bran
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lima and Kidney beans
  • Spinach
  • Rye Bean
  • Natural cocoa powder
  • Popcorn

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